Days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath criticised his Punjab counterpart Captain Amarinder Singh for declaring Malerkotla as the 23rd district of the state and called it a reflection of the "divisive policy of the Congress", Union Minister and BJP MP from Hoshiarpur district of Punjab Som Parkash has supported the decision.
Mr Parkash, unlike other BJP leaders, has put out a series of tweets congratulating the Punjab Chief Minister over the state's newest district.
"#Malerkotla is a symbol of communal harmony. Guru Gobind Singh appreciated Nawab Sher Mohammad Khan of Malerkotla for speaking against execution of his sons by Mughal Governor," he said in a tweet.
I congratulate people of Malerkotla and thank Chief Minister @capt_amarinder ji for declaring #Malerkotla as a district. It is a rich tribute to the Nawab of Malerkotla Sher Mohammad Khan who protested the execution of the two Sahibzade.— Som Parkash (@SomParkashBJP) May 16, 2021
In another post, he wrote: "I congratulate people of Malerkotla and thank Chief Minister @capt_amarinder ji for declaring #Malerkotla as a district. It is a rich tribute to the Nawab of Malerkotla Sher Mohammad Khan who protested the execution of the two Sahibzade."
Amarinder Singh on Friday announced Punjab's newest and its 23rd district named Malerkotla, some 131 km from Chandigarh, after carving it out from Sangrur district.
Soon after, Yogi Adityanath attacked the Congress-led government and said: "Any distinction based on faith and religion is contrary to the spirit of India's Constitution. At this time, the formation of Malerkotla (Punjab) is a reflection the divisive policy of the Congress."
Backing Yogi Adityanath, UP BJP chief UP BJP chief Ashwani Sharma accused the Congress of indulging in "politics of religion". "The new district announced by the congress Chief Minister smacks of "politics of religion" and the Congress has always indulged in decisions which destroy the harmonious democratic fabric of our society," wrote Ashwani Sharma.
"Considering that the state is reeling under tremendous economic duress what is the logic of burdening the state exchequer of Rs 1000 crore to make it a district. Although BJP always believes in small districts but not to the extent that the state goes bankrupt," said Mr Sharma.
Captain Amarinder Singh "should remember that his party is responsible that this great nation was divided in 1947 on religious lines," he said.
Malerkotla was established in 1454 by Sheikh Sadruddin-i-Jahan from Afghanistan, and subsequently the State of Malerkotla was established in 1657 by Bayazid Khan. It was later merged with other nearby princely states to create the Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). During the reorganisation of states in 1956, the territory of the former state of Malerkotla became part of the state of Punjab.
The Sikh community across the globe reveres Sher Mohammed Khan, the former Nawab of Malerkotla, who raised his voice against the torture and bricking alive of the two sons of Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh guru, by the Mughals.